Cool visual of our county budget

Kasey Allen, of KBAGeography, has created another cool visual. This one shows our proposed county budget.

“This graphic version of the budget is much more accessible,” Kasey writes. “Citizens can easily see the size of the various programs as well as what the changes are from last year.

“What happened with Recreation & Culture is they merged it with Education but then did not fund any of the programs that were previously under Education Culture.”

A bigger version is here.

A 5 percent ‘cost of living’ raise for jail vendor?

County supervisors on Tuesday are being asked to approve renewal of a contract for jail management software that provides for automatic 5 percent yearly increases.

Abbey Group Consultants provides the jail-management software used at the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility. The one-year roughly $25,000 deal would be extended to April of next year.

With all the cutbacks going on in our county government, we should not be granting automatic 5 percent “cost of living” adjustments for jail vendors.

It comes at a time when we’re proposing cutbacks at the libraries, for example.

I hope somebody speaks up.

While no doubt well intentioned when it was negotiated, ongoing provisions in a contract like this are a good example why government credibility is low. It sends the *wrong* message to we the taxpayers.

I’m glad the jail is a county revenue source for housing some federal prisoners, but I say go back to this software vendor and renegotiate.

The memo from county Sheriff/Coroner Keith Royal is here.

Zuri Berry vs. Pat Butler in Nevada City

You never really know what’s going on at The Union, because it’s never announced.

But you can gleam the details from digging deeper: “So in addition to my web duties, I’ll be covering Nevada City this summer while reporter David Mirhadi is out … wishing him the best,” Zuri writes on his blog on Twitter.

So I guess Zuri — the paper’s Web community manager and sports writer — also is covering Nevada City this summer, just as a new weekly is launching to cover the “tiny town.”

Good luck to Zuri and Pat Butler, the editor of the soon-to-be-launched Nevada City Advocate. I’ve seen the rate sheet they’re passing around to merchants: The ad rates seem a wee bit too high, considering the “reach” of the publication.

I also think calling your paper the “Advocate” sends up flairs of “us against them,” not always constructive when we’re trying to bring our communities together not force them apart. I see things moving toward more collaboration in our county.

On the other hand, a lot of people complain The Union’s ad rates are too high. I also wonder how reporting “negative” news is going to impact ad sales at both papers.

As residents, we’ll just sit in our Adorindack chairs on the front porch, watching the action.

We live in the “three digit” address zone (that is, incorporated NC) and are discretionary spenders, and now both will have to figure out a way to sign us up as customers (along with our neighbors).

Good luck to each of them! Competition is always a good thing. A short-lived blog from Pat Butler and his spouse is here.

Meanwhile, all the best to Dave Mirhadi while he’s out, a class act whom Jeff Ackerman encouraged the rest of us to hire.

Jeff also encouraged us to hire Pat back as a reporter after he left the paper as Editor to go to the Fairfield Daily Republic for “greener pastures,” only to get laid off. What a weird twist: It kind of speaks to a “tiny town.”

A call for Tea Party transparency

imagesI was surprised to see this response pop up on my blog from the guy who organized the “Tea Party Patriot” gatherings in our county.

Stan Meckler Says:
June 8, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Reply edit
Jeff: I am surprised that you didn’t contact one of the coordinators of the Nevada County Tea Party Patriots to verify your quest for the truth. I am one of those coordinators and I would love to meet with you and answer all your questions and also show you where every cent of the $5 donation is spent or is going to be spent.
Before printing your lies, don’t you think that a faiir & balanced journalist, as you claim to be, would actually do your homework. Is that too much to ask? If you want the truth, call me at 530-272-2808 and arrange a meeting. If you don’t call, I’ll just have to assume that the truth isn’t important to you. Stan Meckler

jeffpelline Says:
June 8, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Reply edit
Thanks for writing Stan. How about just telling my readers where the $5 went in the interest of transparency to this “nonpartisan’ event. BTW, I think you meant to post on the blog “Where did the $5 donation to the Tea Party go” (, not “staycations.” The bar here is a wee bit higher than at other places, where in one case, the editor/publisher is one of your Facebook site members. From where I come from, that is a “conflict of interest.” I guess it’s just attempt to grow readership but readers in our county increasingly are growing more moderate, not more extreme. Oops. On top of that, Stan, my wife is a registered GOP, and I swing both ways. So calling us “liars” only makes your minority base even more of a minority — alienating us. —JP

Keep the Sierra Green program

KSG-logoNevada County, eastern Placer and Incline Village are embracing a new program called “Keep the Sierra Green.”

It is meant to recognize community business leaders who are focused on sustainable ecological and economic practices.

“The KSG program is a self certifying, voluntary check list of various waste reduction, pollution prevention and energy conservation measures,” according to information posted here.

It is patterned after the Bay Area Green Business Program.

Businesses that meet the requirements receive a certificate, a window sticker, KSG logo and invitation to an awards luncheon.

More details are at

This is just the latest example of public/private collaboration across county lines — long overdue in my mind.

Cal Organics “coming soon” sign posted

California Organics and the Organic Cafe is “coming soon” to downtown Nevada City, according to a sign now posted in the window of the Broad Street Furnishings building.

A I previously reported, escrow on the building recently closed, clearing the way for the long-awaited store and cafe. It is expected to open later in the year.

The sign directs people to Cal Organics Web site, which reads: “New Store News: Thanks to our customers, friends and neighbors support it looks like our project is moving ahead.

“A few state inspections and processes are yet to complete and until then, this will be the place to go for all the project updates. Join our Rewards Program and you’ll be the first to know!”

This deal is going to be a big one for downtown Nevada City, bringing more locals, not just tourists, to town. Congratulations to all!